Mount Baker National Recreation Area


On Baker Creek
Baker Creek, along the Pacific Northwest Trail

Mount Baker National Recreation Area is an 8,473-acre property on the southern slopes of Mount Baker in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The recreation area was established in 1984 (at the same time as Mount Baker Wilderness) primarily to accommodate snowmobile users on the southern slopes of Mount Baker. The recreation area is immediately adjacent to Mount Baker Wilderness where snowmobiling is not allowed.

Mount Baker National Recreation Area offers a number of hiking trails that become snowmobile trails in winter. The trigger that allows that snowmobile use is the snow level at Schriebers Meadow at the Park Butte Trailhad: two feet of snow on the ground and the fun can begin.

Access is via Forest Service Road 13 to Schriebers Meadow, the upper Railroad Grade, upper Rocky and upper Sulphur Creek, Metcalf Moraine and lower Easton Glacier. A danger is that there are large crevasses on the slopes of Mount Baker and they are often hidden under fragile snow bridges. Snowmobile users must keep their vehicles within the bounds of Mount Baker National Recreation Area and not stray into the Mount Baker Wilderness.

As much as snowmobiles are explicitly allowed on the property, other vehicles and bicycles are not. Camping is allowed only in designated camps but campfires are not allowed anywhere. Between May 1 and October 31 a valid Northwest Forest Pass is required ($5 per day, $30 per year, available in many places). Between November 1 and April 30, a valid Washington Sno-Park permit is required ($20 per day, $40 for the season, ).

The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail crosses the property east/west on its 1,200-mile journey between the Pacific Ocean and the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park.


Mount Baker from the Pacific Northwest Trail
Map of Mount Baker National Recreation Area
Map of Mount Baker National Recreation Area, not to scale
Photos and map courtesy of the US Forest Service